Citing pope’s warnings about drugs, Catholic bishops speak on ballot proposals

This Election Day, voters in multiple U.S. states will consider several proposals to legalize drugs, ranging from medical and recreational marijuana to harder drugs. Catholic bishops in several states have said voters should look to Pope Francis’ warnings that legalization is ‘highly questionable,’ as it becomes a compromise with drug addiction.

The Oregon Catholic Conference “strongly opposes” Ballot Measure 110, which would decriminalize the possession and use of small amounts of controlled substances including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines. It would reduce penalties for possession of large amounts of such controlled substances.

“The Oregon Catholic Conference firmly supports treatment and rehabilitation for all those suffering from addictions. We encourage you to get behind solid programs and not accept an initiative that promotes the use of illegal drugs,” the bishops said.

“Pope Francis has unequivocally stated that drug use is incompatible with human life,” the conference said in a flier. It cited the pope’s 2014 address to the International Drug Enforcement Conference in Rome.

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